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Arch N. Bobbitt oral history

Identifier: OH014

Scope and Contents

The collection contains the tapes and transcript drafts of three interviews with Arch N. Bobbitt conducted by Randall Jehs for the Indiana State Library oral history project on August 30, September 11, and September 17, 1974. In the first interview, Bobbitt discusses his childhood and education; how his interest in politics developed; Indiana politics in the 1920s including the influence of the Ku Klux Klan and D. C. Stephenson; and the state gasoline tax department. In the second interview, he discusses the Indiana Republican Party, his stint as state chairman, and the elections of 1938 and 1940 including Wendell Willkie’s campaign for the presidency. In the third interview, Bobbitt discusses the 1939 and 1941 Indiana legislative sessions; Ralph Gates as Republican Party state chairman; working on John Bricker’s campaign for the Republican nomination for President; his shift to Indianapolis politics; the political influence of the Indianapolis Star; and his time as an Indiana Supreme Court justice.


  • 1974 August-September; 1978


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Legal title, copyright, and literary rights reside with Rare Books and Manuscripts, Indiana State Library, Indianapolis, IN. All requests to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted to Rare Books and Manuscripts.

Biographical / Historical

Archie “Arch” Newton Bobbitt was born on September 3, 1895, in Eckerty, Crawford County, Indiana, to Irvin and Ida Newton Bobbitt. He attended Central Normal College in Danville, Indiana, and received his LL.B. from Indiana University Law School in 1927. Before starting his law career, Bobbitt taught school in Crawford County and was principal of Alton and Marengo High Schools. In 1918, Bobbitt was elected Crawford County Clerk, but soon resigned to enlist in the Navy. From 1921 to 1925, he served as Crawford County Auditor. Following his term as Auditor, he was appointed director of the state gasoline tax department, a post he held until 1928. He was then elected to a two-year term as State Auditor. In 1930, he began practicing law in Indianapolis. He was very active in Republican Party politics and became the State Chairman in 1937. He was elected to two two-year terms in 1938 and 1940. He returned to public office in 1943 as Indianapolis City Attorney and continued in that post until 1948.

In 1950, Bobbitt was elected to the Indiana Supreme Court. He remained on the Supreme Court bench until 1963. He returned to private practice at his firm, Ruckelhaus, Bobbit & O’Connor, after losing his bid for reelection. In 1972, Bobbitt published a two-volume text, Indiana Appellate Practice and Procedure. He died on January 24, 1978.


Indiana Supreme Court Justice Biographies: Justice Archie Newton Bobbit. Indiana Supreme Court. Accessed March 16, 2006.


0.01 Cubic Feet (2 transcripts, 1 folder, 2 audiotape reels, 3 cassette tapes)

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged by format.

Custodial History

This collection was received by Rare Books and Manuscripts as a part of the Indiana State Library Oral History Project, 1974.


No further additions are expected.

Processing Information

Collection processing completed 2006/03 by Christina Baich. EAD finding aid created 2006/03 by Christina Baich. EAD finding aid revised 2013 by Edythe Huffman. Collection reprocessing completed 2020/03/04 by Brittany Kropf. EAD finding aid revised 2020/03/04 by Brittany Kropf.


Arch N. Bobbitt oral history
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
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Repository Details

Part of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Repository

140 North Senate Avenue
Indianapolis, Indiana 46204 U.S.A.